Of course, the little girls are my sister and me and the hilltop is where we lived for most of our childhood. I'm so thankful for the memories I have of growing up and especially of holidays spent with my family.
(The orchard in our backyard after an ice storm)Even more important than these sacrifices, however, is knowing the biggest sacrifice was that of my heavenly Father's in allowing His perfect son to become sin on that cross and die in my place (2 Corinthians 5:21), later to arise victorious over hell and death (Revelation 1:18), and having that revelation makes me appreciate absolutely everything so much more! Because I'd have nothing without him. No hope and not even the air I breathe. And it's incredible to look back over those years as a child (who didn't know Him) and realize that He was there the entire time watching over, leading and sometimes nudging me closer to meeting Him.
I remember the time we had this magnificent lightning storm… I had a huge bedroom window that looked out towards the edge of the woods, and I remember lying in bed, looking out at the blackest night, until the lightning would strike. Suddenly those huge trees lit up like it was day, bending under the force of the wind. There was a flutter in my chest and I wanted to weep at the beauty of it. I had no idea where this feeling came from, but I know looking back it was my spirit's build-in desire to worship the God who created the storm and also created me.
I can recall a similar feeling after an ice storm in the mid 80's. The storm had passed and the sun was shining. It was a world of sparkling crystals! It was so beautiful and quiet. But then a breeze would blow and the icy branches tinkled their music throughout the woods. My eyes and ears were amazed at the beauty, but my spirit was what was compelled to worship. I just didn't know who it was I should worship yet. I'm so thankful that He has shown me now, and has allowed me to see that it was Him that was there and that it was Him in so much of what I experienced as a child.
All the wandering and all the searching that followed those childhood years and He had been there all the while…What a glorious, & good God.
My prayer for you this holiday season if you don't know Him yet, is that you will. I hope you have A wonderful Christmas filled with family & friends… but above all else, I pray it's filled with Jesus.
...Some pictures of Christmases gone by...